Tuesday, 26 September 2023 04:50 GMT

Lithium Americas Reports First Quarter 2023 Results

(MENAFN- GlobeNewsWire - Nasdaq)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX: LAC) (NYSE: LAC) (“ Lithium Americas or the Company ”) has reported financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2023 (“ Q1 2023 ”).




  • Mechanical construction completed to target first lithium production in June 2023.
    • With all key systems for the production of first lithium completed, the commissioning team commenced production testing of the purification, carbonation and SX systems.
    • Additional purification processing equipment necessary to achieve battery-quality lithium carbonate is expected to be completed in H2 2023, following the start of pre-commercial production.
    • Ramp up to 40,000 tonnes per annum (“ tpa ”) of battery-quality lithium carbonate is targeted to be complete in Q1 2024.
  • As of March 31, 2023, $834 million of the $979 million total expected capex has been spent (on a 100% basis).
    • As of March 31, 2023, the Company expects its remaining funding requirement to be less than $50 million for capital costs, value added taxes and working capital to reach positive cash flow.
  • Development planning for Stage 2 expansion of at least 20,000 tpa of lithium carbonate continues to progress to align with completion of Stage 1.

Pastos Grandes Basin

  • The Company continues to advance the Pastos Grandes' $30 million development plan, targeting completion of the plan and a construction decision in Q4 2023.
  • The geophysics program has been completed. Roads and drilling pads are under construction.
  • On April 20, 2023, the Company completed its acquisition of Arena Minerals and its 65% ownership interest in the Sal de la Puna project, adjacent to the Pastos Grandes project in Salta, Argentina.

United States

Thacker Pass

  • On March 2, 2023, the Company announced the start of construction activities at Thacker Pass following receipt of notice to proceed from the Bureau of Land Management (“ BLM ”).
    • Early works are progressing, including water pipelines, construction ponds, site fencing and access roads.
    • In April 2023, a geotechnical report was issued to all engineering contractors to commence the design of civil foundations.
    • Major earthworks are expected to commence in H2 2023 and support the target to commence production in the second half of 2026.
    • The Company, Bechtel Corporation (“ Bechtel ”) (engineering, procurement and construction management) and the North American Building Trade Unions have entered into a memorandum of understanding agreeing to a project labor agreement for major construction activities for Phase 1 of Thacker Pass.
  • On February 22, 2023, the Company announced that it received a Letter of Substantial Completion from the U.S. Department of Energy (“ DOE ”) Loans Program Office for its application for the DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (“ ATVM Loan Program ”).
    • The Company expects the DOE ATVM Loan Program conditional approval process to be completed in 2023 and if approved, to fund up to 75% of the total capital costs for construction of Phase 1.
    • The Company has approved a construction budget of $125 million through Q3 2023 with additional capital spend expected following completion of the DOE ATVM Loan Program process.
  • On February 6, 2023, the US District Court, District of Nevada (“ Federal Court ”) ruled favorably for the Company in the appeal filed against the BLM by declining to vacate the Record of Decision (“ ROD ”).


  • As at March 31, 2023, the Company had $604 million in cash and cash equivalents and short-term bank deposits, with an additional $75 million in available credit.
  • On May 15, 2023, the Company's Board of Directors unanimously approved execution of an arrangement agreement providing for the reorganization of the Company that will result in the separation of its North American and Argentine business units into two independent public companies (the“ Separation ”).
  • In April 2023, Pablo Mercado joined as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer following Eduard Epshtein's retirement.
  • On January 30, 2023, Lithium Americas entered into a purchase agreement with General Motors Holdings LLC (“ GM ”) whereby GM agreed to make a $650 million equity investment in the Company and receive exclusive access to Phase 1 production at Thacker Pass through a binding supply agreement.
    • On February 16, 2023, the initial tranche of $320 million closed with GM's purchase of 15 million Lithium Americas' common shares at $21.34 per share. GM is now Lithium Americas' largest shareholder and offtake partner.
    • The second tranche of $330 million is contemplated to be invested into the Company's U.S. business following the Separation and other conditions being achieved.


The Technical Information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Rene LeBlanc, PhD, SME, Chief Technical Officer of Lithium Americas, and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.


Selected consolidated financial information is presented as follows:

(in US$ million except per share information) Quarter ended March 31,
2023 2022
$ $
Expenses (17.1 ) (16.0 )
Net loss (6.4 ) (46.1 )
Loss per share – basic (0.04 ) (0.35 )

(in US$ million) As at March 31, 2023 As at December 31, 2022
$ $
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term bank deposits 604.1 352.1
Total assets 1,328.4 1,016.5
Total long-term liabilities (213.7 ) (212.9 )

In Q1 2023, net loss decreased primarily due to gain on change in fair value of the GM agreements derivative liability as well as gain on change in fair value of the convertible note derivative versus loss in the comparative period.

In Q1 2023, total assets increased primarily due to cash proceeds from the first tranche investment by GM of $320 million and commencement of construction of the Thacker Pass project and, as a result, capitalization of the related project construction costs.

This news release should be read in conjunction with Lithium Americas' condensed consolidated interim financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the quarter ended March 31, 2023, which are available on SEDAR. All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.


Lithium Americas is focused on advancing lithium projects in Argentina and the United States to production. In Argentina, Caucharí-Olaroz is advancing towards first production and Pastos Grandes represents regional growth. In the United States, Thacker Pass has received its Record of Decision and commenced construction. The Company trades on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol“LAC”.


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